Understanding Your Teething Baby

Baby teeth start making their entrance around six months of age, but don’t be alarmed if it happens much sooner or later. While teething is often associated with a fussy baby, there are things you can do as a parent to make your baby (and yourself) more comfortable and peaceful. Keep in mind that, like other challenging stages of development, teething is necessary and temporary. Behind the drooling and crankiness, your child is building his or her unique smile!

The Timeline of Teeth Formation

Did you know that teeth begin forming in the womb? However, we don’t see these teeth until they emerge from the gum line. Primary teeth are known for following this general pattern and timeline:

  • 6 months – lower central incisors
  • 8 months – upper central incisors
  • 10 months – lower and upper lateral incisors
  • 14 months – first molars
  • 18 months – canines
  • 24 months – second molars
  • by age 3 –  full set of 20 primary teeth

If you notice that your baby’s teeth are erupting crooked, don’t be too concerned. Primary teeth will usually straighten out on their own as more teeth come beside them.

Signs of Teething

Some babies show no signs of teething while others experience very noticeable discomfort. The following signs can indicate a teething baby:

  • Irritability or fussiness
  • Drooling (which can cause a facial rash)
  • Swollen, sensitive gums
  • Gnawing or chewing behavior
  • Refusing to eat
  • Trouble sleeping

How Parents or Caregivers Can Help

Teething naturally brings out an urge to gnaw. Therefore, many babies find relief by chewing on a cold washcloth or rubber teething ring. Cool temperatures can ease swollen and painful gums during this time. If your child’s gums aren’t too sensitive, you can also massage the area with a clean finger.

Before using any pain medication or ointment for your teething baby, contact your physician or dentist. Recommendations have changed regarding store-bought numbing creams and it is important to make sure the medication (even natural products) are not doing more harm than good.

For more tips on helping your baby through a difficult teething phase, please contact Marietta Dental Professionals. We are pleased to offer excellence in pediatric dentistry to accommodate the needs of your entire family!

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